Scientists study robot-human interactions

August 30, 2006

British scientists are studying how people interact with robots to determine what future machines should look like and how they should behave.

The yearlong research, being conducted in a house near Hatfield, England, involves a 4-foot-tall, silver-headed robot, The Guardian reported.

The robot has no name. "Once you name them then people will put gender associations on them, which is a big problem," researcher Kheng Lee Koay told the newspaper.

The study indicates people become uneasy when the robot comes too close or approaches directly from in front. And the volunteers say they strongly dislike it when the robot moves behind them.

A conference on human-robot interaction will be next week at the University of Hertfordshire and one suggestion to be considered is offered by a Japanese robotics expert, Shuji Hashimoto, The Guardian noted.

He suggests ignoring Isaac Asimov's famous "first law of robotics," which states a robot should be programmed never to harm a human, either deliberately or by inaction.

Hashimoto says robots should be given the ability to make decisions and even harm humans if necessary.

"The philosophy of Asimov is too human-centered," says Hashimoto.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Curiosity discovers Mars rock like none before, sets drill campaign

Related Stories

Robot wind-around tentacle can grab, hold ant and egg

June 12, 2015

No harm done: a soft robot tentacle can lasso an ant with no killer motives. The tentacle can handle tiny, fragile objects, the result of a soft robot that curls itself into a circle with a radius of just 200 micrometers, ...

Recommended for you

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.